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Oct 1 2014



The story behind Thea, the 12-year-old child bride from Norway
By Andrew Russell - Global News

WATCH ABOVE: Hear the whole story of Thea, a 12-year-old child bride from Norway.

Her name is Thea.

She is a 12-year-old girl living in Norway and on Saturday she is set to marry a 37-year-old man named Geir, becoming the country’s first official child bride.

For the past month Thea has been writing about her upcoming marriage, updating a blog about shopping for dresses, taking engagement photos, and picking out wedding cake.

“I learned from Mom yesterday that I’m getting married. I will marry Geir and it is a bit strange because I know he really is so grown up,” Thea wrote in her first blog post in September, translated from Norwegian.

She enjoys spending time with her friends, going to school, and listening to her favourite band One Direction. Her dream is to be a veterinarian so she can work with horses.

In an Oct. 1 blog post titled “Do I do it with Geir??!!” Thea writes about her curiosity regarding sex and searching it online.

“So I know what sex is but…it’s just weird and disgusting especially when he is so old and nobody can force me to do it??” Thea writes. “My mom said I should not think about it when I tried to ask her. But now I can’t think of anything else.”

However, the outrageous story of Thea the 12-year-old child bride is thankfully not real. It is a marketing stunt from children’s development charity Plan International, aimed at raising awareness to the 39,000 children around the world who are forced into marriage daily.

The blog includes posts from children who were married off before turning 18, including Latifa a 15-year-old from Tanzania.

Plan International says if the practice of child brides continues, more than 142 million girls will be married in the next decade, according to UN statistics.

“We want to show how horrible the practice of child marriage is and put it in a context that is familiar and normally associated with love, happiness and hope for the future,” said Olaf Thommessen, national director of Plan Norway, in a post on the charity’s website.

The campaign has started a petition to stop Thea’s wedding on Oct. 11 that coincides with the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child.

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